Trying to import a Photoshop file containing a subject with a transparent background into InDesign or Illustrator can be frustrating. You need to extract the subject from an image and place it into an InDesign or Quark XPress document, like this:
In your page layout program, it might appear that you have done all you need to do by copying and pasting selections or by using a layer mask and importing it. Sometimes, even if the transparent part of the image displays correctly on your monitor, it may still come out all wrong in the printout. That’s because you need to create a clipping path in Photoshop before you import it into InDesign or Illustrator.
A clipping path is a way to keep parts of an image opaque and parts of an image transparent. A clipping path t is typically used to “knock out” the background of an image so you can surround its irregular boundaries with text or colored background. With the Photoshop Pen tool, you can create a vector path around the part of the image you want to keep, and then export the image as an EPS file – a file format which is capable of having both vector and bitmap data in the same image. The resulting EPS file can be placed directly into InDesgin, Illustrator, and others such as those created in QuarkXPress™ or Adobe® PageMaker®. The EPS file can also be distilled into a PDF file.
Want to learn how? See our video tutorial
Special thanks to Ashley Endemann for this video.